Wondering – kefir vs kvass, which fermented beverages will be the best fit to your diet? As a nutritionist, let me help you make the choice.
Kefir and kvass have a long history of consumption and benefits. While both have some similarities, it’s the difference between kefir and kvass that you need to understand to make a reasonable choice.
Kefir Vs Kvass: Battle of Probiotic Beverages
Choosing between kefir vs kvass will become easier, if we understand the difference in these attributes –
Milk & Kefir Grains
Rye Bread/ Vegetables
Sour & Creamy
Sour & Sweet
Morning or Noon
|ORAL & BONE HEALTH OUTCOME
|TUMMY HEALTH OUTCOME
|BODY HYDRATION EFFECT
*Source: USDA; Quantity defined is 1 cup
Difference in the Ingredients Used to Prepare Kefir & Kvass
Kefir’s origin can be traced to the North Caucasus region. It is a popular drink in Eastern Europe, Russia and now many other parts of the world
Kefir is made using kefir grains, which are a combination of bacteria and yeast. The grains are added to dairy milk – cow or goat and left to ferment for about 24-48 hours.
Kvass is a traditional Russian beverage. It is also consumed widely in parts of China, Ukraine, Poland, Baltic countries, and Finland.
Traditionally, kvass is made using rye bread or beets. To prepare kvass, the bread or beets are soaked in water and left to ferment for several days.
Which is Better in Taste & texture: Kvass or Kefir?
As someone who has tried both, I can confidently say that both kefir and kvass differ a lot in their taste and texture. What you pick will thus depend on your personal preference.
Kefir has a sour and tangy taste with a thicker, creamy texture. Kvass, although tangy, has a slightly sweet taste. It’s thin and can be compared to mild beer.
Ideal Quantity To be Consumed Per Day of Kefir Vs Kvass
To get the most out of kefir, you can consume around 1-2 cups per day without overloading on calories or lactose. As for Kvass, you can drink up to 2 cups a day.
However, if you’re new to Kefir or to kvass and have some digestive issues, I would recommend starting with half that quantity. You can increase the quantity gradually, as your body adjusts to it.
Which One Has More Calories: Kefir or Kvass?
As you can see in the table above, kefir is much higher in calories when compared to Kvass. This is because traditionally, milk based kefir is made using whole milk, which has high amount of fats, sugars and protein.
The calorie content of both drinks can vary depending on the brand and type of ingredients used. I generally recommend making your own kefir or kvass at home to avoid added sugars and calories.
Kefir Vs Kvass: The Low-Carb Drink
Both Kefir and Kvass are moderately high in carbs. The source of carbs however is different. In case of kefir it is the natural sugar present in milk and for kvass, it is the sugars added & bread.
If you are on a low carb diet, you can include kvass and kefir in moderate amounts in your diet. Make sure you choose traditional unsweetened and unflavoured versions over commercial varieties.
Which One is Lower in Fats: Kefir or Kvass?
Kefir is a fermented dairy drink that can be made with different types of milk, such as low-fat or non-fat milk. Depending on the kind of milk used, kefir will have some amount of fat.
Kvass, on the other hand, is made from bread or vegetables and thus does not contain any fat. So, if you are watching your fat intake, kvass is the way to go.
Comparing the Quantity & Quality of Protein in Kefir & Kvass
Kefir is a dairy product and is thus a good source of protein. Kefir contains all essential amino acids, making it a complete protein source.If you’re looking for a drink high in protein, Kefir can be a good choice.
Since kvass is made from bread, it does not contain a significant amount of protein. However, some varieties of Kvass may be enriched with additional protein sources, such as whey or pea protein.
Which One Is a Good Source of Calcium: Kefir or Kvass?
Kefir is definitely a better choice for calcium than Kvass. Made with milk, It is naturally rich in calcium. Kvass, on the other hand, does not typically contain any significant amount of calcium.
Calcium is an essential mineral that plays a role in many bodily functions, including bone health, muscle function, and nerve transmission.
When to Consume Kefir Vs Kvass?
Kefir is best consumed either on an empty stomach in the morning or post lunch to aid digestion. I generally advise against consuming fermented dairy post sundown as in Ayurveda.
Kvass is traditionally consumed in Russia as a refreshing drink during the summers. Afternoons and evenings are generally the best time to consume kvass.
Which Is Suitable for Vegans: Kefir or Kvass?
Since traditionally kefir is made from milk, it is not suitable for vegans. However, nowadays people are trying out different types of kefir, some of which are also completely plant based.
Traditional Kvass is made from bread, water, and sugar. If you replace sugar with a plant based sweetener, kvass, can be suitable for vegans.
The More Sustainable Choice Between: Kefir Vs Kvass
Kefir is made from milk and milk production is resource-intensive. It requires a significant amount of land, water, and energy. Also, dairy can have negative environmental impact, such as increased greenhouse gas emissions and water pollution.
Kvass can be made from bread, which requires less resources. This makes it a relatively more sustainable product.
Kefir or Kvass: Which is Better for Oral & Bone Health?
Kefir is rich in beneficial bacteria or probiotics that can help reduce the levels of harmful bacteria in the mouth and prevent tooth decay, gum disease, and bad breath.
Kefir is also rich in calcium and phosphorus that can help strengthen teeth and bones.
Kvass does probiotics but in comparison to kefir the diversity is too low. Also, it is not rich in bone or teeth health promoting vitamins and minerals. Therefore, kefir is a much better choice for oral and bone health when compared to kvass.
Suitable for People With Sensitive Tummies: Kefir or Kvass
Kefir is a fermented dairy product, rich in a lot of gut friendly bacteria. This makes it a good choice for your tummy. However, people who cannot tolerate dairy and even small doses of lactose, can find it discomforting.
Kvass is more suitable for people with sensitive tummies than Kefir. It does contain probiotics and can help with digestion. However, if you are new, start low, start slow.
Which Is Better For Hydrating the Body: Kefir or Kvass?
Kvass is mostly water. The water and electrolytes help to replenish fluids lost through sweat and other bodily functions. So, you can use kvass as an effective alternative to sports drinks that are high in natural sugars and preservatives.
Kefir does contain water but it also contains dairy. Dairy can be heavy on the stomach and may not be as quickly absorbed by the body as water. So, overall, kvass does a better job at hydrating the body.
Kefir or Kvass: Which Has More Uses?
Kefir can be used in a variety of ways. This includes smoothies, as a substitute for yogurt or sour cream, etc. .Kefir can also be used to make cheese or cream cheese, and its tangy flavor can add depth and complexity to dishes.
Kvass is primarily consumed as a beverage and is not as versatile as Kefir. While it can be used as a base for cocktails or mixed with other ingredients, it’s not generally used in cooking or as a substitute for other ingredients.
In conclusion, kvass and kefir both have their advantages and disadvantages.
If you are looking for a nutrient rich drink, a complete food, kefir is a better option, However, if you are looking for something low calorie and light, kvass is the way to go.